6 Overlooked Business Insurance Policies

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 27, 2016. It has 0 comments.

In business, anything can happen at anytime. Someone can get hurt. An angry employee may sue. Your database may be hacked. Not everything will be covered by your basic business insurance policy. Before you’re faced with major headaches, skyrocketing expenses, and unplanned perils, find out what kind of insurance you may need that you overlooked in the past.


If you use your own vehicle for business needs, own one or more business vehicles, or allow employees to conduct business with their personal vehicle, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy. Coverage includes bodily injury, damage, liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. You can also add on additional options for your specific business needs such as rental reimbursement or trailer interchange coverage.


Think about the amount of data you have on your customers, clients, and employees. Now imagine if your business was hacked and that information was stolen or became vulnerable. You have a big problem. With cyber security coverage, you’ll be able to take care of your legal responsibilities – investigating the breach, notifying everyone affected, and monitoring their credit for suspicious activity – without going bankrupt to do it.


No one ever wants to think an employee will sue, but it happens. Employment liability will cover you if you face accusations of discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, or sexual harassment. The amount you’ll pay in premiums is nothing compared to court costs, attorneys fees, or even a settlement amount.


You’ve got insurance to protect the building and inventory in case of fire or other disaster. What about the loss of income you’ll have while your business is repaired? How will you pay salaries and other regular expenses? A business income and extra expense policy will help cover those expenses for a set period of time until you’re up and running again.


You – and your business – were hired to do a job, provide a service, and use your technical skill or knowledge. You’re also responsible for knowing the minimum standards within your field. Mistakes happen, and people fail. As a professional, you can be held liable if any damage is caused by that failure. Professional liability insurance covers you when that happens.


Not every situation is covered by an insurance policy. Some things are so unique they’ve never been considered before. When the craziest, strangest thing happens and it’s not covered under an existing policy, umbrella liability coverage may take over. It also helps cover the cost of the bigger than expected claims that exceed policy limits – umbrella coverage can help pay the difference.

There are so many insurance options for businesses, it can feel a little overwhelming. Consider your business now and how you want it to grow when deciding what coverage may be best for you. You can always contact us here at Charlotte Insurance – we’ll be happy to discuss the details of your business and what insurance options are available.

Don’t lose your business because you couldn’t predict a lawsuit or disaster. Purchase the right insurance coverage and rest easy knowing you’re protected when the worst happens.

Panther Pride

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 20, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Charlotte Insurance Logo

Notice anything different about us right now? That’s right, we’re showing our Panther Pride with a slight change to the Charlotte Insurance logo. We’re so proud of our hometown heroes, the Carolina Panthers, and how far they’ve come this season. Especially after that win over the Seattle Seahawks! Did you see that game?

One more game, this time against Arizona, decides whether the Panthers are NFC Champions and if they’re headed to Super Bowl 50. We’ll be cheering them on the whole way. After a season like this one, no matter what happens, our Panthers are champions to us!

Will you be at the Panther Lair for the next big game?

Join us in cheering on the Panthers as they make the Carolinas proud!

Go Panthers!

Do you need a Commercial Auto Policy?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 19, 2016. It has 0 comments.

It can be hard to know what insurance you need for your business, and when you need it. Maybe you’re branching out on your own, working for yourself. You could be growing your small business and adding employees and equipment. Knowing when to add new insurance coverage can be tough.

The only thing that separates you and your business from continued growth or devastating loss is one bad car accident. Here are some ways to tell if you need a commercial auto policy for your business to protect you, your business, and your employees.


  • Your vehicle is used to pick up or deliver goods like food, supplies, materials, messages, and packages.
  • Your vehicle is used as a limo, taxi, or livery service. Uber and Lyft drivers, this means you, too.
  • You have vehicles owned or leased by a business partnership or corporation.
  • You have vehicles registered or titled to a business, corporation, partnership, or DBA.
  • You have employees or non-listed drivers that use your company vehicles.
  • You rent or lease vehicles to other people or businesses.
  • Your company owns trucks, vans, or utility vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds (gross) or they have the capacity to carry a load exceeding 2,000 pounds.
  • Your vehicles include snowplows, catering or racing equipment, altered suspensions, or hydraulic lifts.
  • You’ve added ladder racks or permanent toolboxes to your vehicles to be used for business.
  • Your employees use their personal vehicles for travel, to run errands for the business, or to attend meetings.

If your personal vehicle or vehicles used by your business fall into any one of these categories, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy.


You may wonder why you can’t rely on personal auto insurance or even a general business insurance policy. Standard business insurance policies don’t include vehicles at all while personal auto insurance is limited in its coverage.

Commercial policies have several different features:

  • Auto liability which protects your business in the event of an accident
  • Trailer interchange insurance covers you when your vehicles are hauling trailers you don’t own
  • Rental reimbursement with downtime helps recoup some of the lost revenue when a vehicle is down for repair
  • Non-owned auto liability provides coverage when your employees drive their own vehicles

If you try to rely on a personal auto insurance policy, you may be surprised. The policy may cover the cost of the individual’s claim in the accident, but only up to the policy limit. If the accident victim decides to sue your business, or if the claim is larger than the policy limits, you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket. Most importantly, personal auto insurance will only kick in if the vehicle is only used occasionally for business. If the vehicle is used primarily for business, the claim may not be paid at all.

Don’t open yourself up to major losses and big lawsuits. Whether you use your personal vehicle or your company owns multiple vehicles, make sure you have the right coverage to protect you and your business.

When you’re ready to learn more about commercial auto insurance and the different options available, Charlotte Insurance is here to help. Contact us today!

Long-Term Care Insurance – What it is and why you need it

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 13, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Getting older has plenty of perks (Senior Discounts!) but there’s a good chance, whether you remain fairly healthy or not, you’re going to need some help as you age. You may not even be able to live on your own at a certain point.

Nursing homes and home health aides all cost money. Long-term care insurance is the best option for most people to live a long life while getting the care they need.


Unlike health insurance, long-term care insurance does not cover medical expenses. Instead, it covers the non-medical, but very necessary care, provided by nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care services and aides.

We all want to believe that we’ll have help from spouses, children, and other family members as we get older. Even if that help is available, caregiving is a difficult job and family members will often need help. This is where long-term care insurance comes in. Contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not cover your long-term care needs as you age. Medicaid is available for some, but in order to qualify, you’ll have to have almost no assets.


No matter how young – or young-at-heart – you are, long-term care insurance is something to think about sooner rather than later. Unlike medical insurance, you can be denied coverage if you have current health problems. The younger and healthier you are when you purchase coverage, the more options you’ll have and the lower your premiums will be.

If you think you can’t afford long-term care insurance, think again. A semi-private room in a nursing home could cost you at least $80,000/year while a private room can be nearly $100,000. Staying at home is more affordable, but still expensive. Home health services can cost $40,000 or more per year. Those numbers are at today’s rate. If you’re relatively young now, those costs will only continue to rise over time. Long-term care insurance allows you to pay a fraction of that cost and know that you’ll be taken care of when the time comes.


You’ll have several things to consider when choosing and using a long-term care policy. There is no one-size-fits-all plan.

Consider these factors when buying or using your policy:

  • Waiting periods can be 30, 60, or 90 days before coverage applies.
  • Coverage may be limited to a certain number of years or a specific dollar amount.
  • Proof will be required of what you need help with before you can use your coverage: bathing, eating, dressing, using the bathroom, etc.
  • Most plans don’t cover inflation (but some do). If you’re covered for $150 per day, that may be all you’ll get, regardless of rising costs.

Remember, the plan is to grow old gracefully, but at some point you may need help. In fact, more than 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care assistance before they die. Find a policy now before you need it and give your family and yourself peace of mind that you’ll be cared for later in life.

When you’re ready to discuss your long-term care insurance options, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’re here to help!

Please, Don’t Text and Drive

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 11, 2016. It has 0 comments.

dont text and drive image

We’re all guilty of trying to do much, especially when we’re in the car, in a rush to get somewhere. We eat on the go, make important phone calls, and yes, we even text and drive. Our lives are a constant rush of driving somewhere, rushing to the next appointment or obligation, and trying to do much at once. In the meantime, we sacrifice the safety of ourselves, our passengers, and everyone else on the road.

While teens are often thought of first when it comes to texting and driving, adult drivers are guilty of it, too. When we use our cell phone for any reason while driving, we’re 4 times as likely to be involved in a crash. In 2013, 341,000 auto accidents involved texting and driving.

For parents of new drivers, after you emphasize the need to wear a seat belt, never drink and drive, and to obey the speed limit, remind your kids never to text and drive. Best of all, if you really want the lesson to stick, lead by example. Don’t let your kids catch you texting and driving. While 98% of us say we know it isn’t safe, 49% of us admit to doing it. We can do better.

Every day 9 Americans die and 1,100 more are injured from an auto accident involving distracted driving, whether that’s eating lunch with one hand on the wheel or texting and driving.

No matter how important a text message seems, it isn’t as important as your life – or the lives of the people around you. It’s tempting to send a quick message or take a quick peek, especially when you’ve driven the same road for years. But please, before you text and drive, stop and remember what’s at stake.

Look in the rearview mirror and remember your children. Glance around the road and imagine the people in their cars on the road with you. No one’s life is worth a quick text message.

When the message just can’t wait, pull over, get off the road, and then send the message. Most of the time, it’s not so important we’re willing to stop. If it’s not that important, it can wait.

As a driver, you can safely take your attention away from the road for approximately two seconds. Just two! The average driver spends five seconds sending a text – more than double the safest amount of time. Because of the known dangers, and the increased risk to the safety of everyone on the road, 46 states have banned texting while driving. North Carolina is one of them.

The safety and well-being of everyone on the road is too important. When you’re speeding down the highway or simply cruising down a back road, put your cell phone down. Don’t text and drive. The lives of you and the people you love are at stake.

Thanks to Flickr user Michael Babcock for the image.

How to Insure Art and other Valuables

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 7, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Did you get exactly what you wanted over the holidays? A rare and expensive piece of artwork, maybe? Possibly a new piece of jewelry covered in diamonds? Whatever it may be, however priceless your new valuable may seem, it’s time to make sure your newest treasure is protected.

While you know to keep your valuables secured and locked away, there are certain things that can’t always be prevented – broken, lost, and misplaced valuables are devastating. Make sure your valuables are insured properly so that if the worst happens, you’ll be able to replace and repair them for the amount their worth.


A standard Charlotte homeowners insurance policy offers only a certain amount of protection, up to very specific limits – typically not enough to protect even one truly valuable piece of art, jewelry, or collectible. Jewelry limits are often around $1,000 while other items may not be protected at all. Worse, a lost stone out of a ring or necklace or a broken glass vase won’t be covered at all because breakage and lost items aren’t included in standard homeowner policies. You’re going to need coverage designed specifically for your valuables.


When you discuss adding extra coverage to your policy for your valuables, you’ll have a couple of options: blanket coverage and scheduled coverage. Blanket coverage offers a lump sum limit for a group of your valuables. When something is lost, stolen, or damaged, as long as the replacement value is within your coverage limits, you’ll be compensated.

Scheduled coverage is more detailed and requires a bit of extra work. With scheduled coverage, you’ll need to list and include the appraised value of each item you want to insure. When you need to file a claim, the specific item will be covered up the amount you’ve insured it for. You may have to provide proof of a current appraisal when you’re ready to insure some items.

When choosing between blanket coverage and scheduled coverage for your valuables, consider the value of the items. Smaller items, such as cameras, smaller pieces of jewelry, less valuable artwork, and others may be combined for blanket coverage – and you won’t have to list each item individually. Higher value items, especially those that are susceptible to accidental loss or damage, such as jewelry, should be considered for scheduled coverage.


Depending on your policy, your newest items – like those purchased over the holidays – may have some protection if you’ve already got a policy for your existing valuables. Within the first 30 to 90 days, your policy may cover new valuables at 25 percent of their value until you add them to your current policy. Don’t wait too long to insure your newest acquisitions, in case something is damaged or lost.

Check your policy for value appreciation, as well. Some insurance companies will allow for up to 50 percent appreciation of value. That antique vase worth $5,000 could be covered for more if it’s value has increased over time. When in doubt, talk to your insurance agent to find out more about your specific coverage.

If you’re in the market to insure a new, beautiful, and expensive gift you’ve received or you have questions about your existing policy, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’re here to help!

Thanks to Flickr user International Gem & Jewelry Show for the photo.