When you own a small business, your family members aren’t the only people depending on you. Your death could be a disaster for your employees and partners, and it could destroy the company you worked so hard to build.
That’s the short explanation of why you need life insurance. But there’s much more you need to know.
Why you need it
Your family depends on your business’ income to survive. Further, you may have taken out loans backed by your family’s assets to start or grow the business. But your family members might not be equipped to take over the business if you die. They might also be unable to sell it easily. This could leave them without income or even in a position to lose their home, if that’s collateral for a business loan.
Life Happens, an insurance industry group, explains it this way: “When the family is forced to sell the business quickly, they may have to sell at a discount or during market conditions that make the business less attractive. In other cases, the business may be worth very little without the proprietor or partner.”
If you have partners, your family might be unable to step into your role, and your partners might be unable to quickly buy out your share, Life Happens notes. In this case, your family might have to help run the business during a stressful time or be forced to sell off the company. Finally, your business may rely on key employees whose deaths would seriously dent earnings or operations.
What you need
In each of these scenarios, life insurance could save your small business or protect your family. Each involves a different sort of policy.
A personal life insurance policy would help your family pay off any business debt and cover living expenses after your death. Your family would then have time to figure out what to do with the business.
If your business has multiple owners, you can combine life insurance policies on each partner with a buy-sell agreement. The agreement stipulates that on the death of a partner, the remaining partners can buy out the surviving family’s share at a previously agreed price. The life insurance pays for the buyout.
Finally, key person insurance is life insurance that protects against the death of a critically important employee. In the event of death, the insurance pays the owner or owners of the business.
Small-business owners may need several different life insurance policies. We have a number of companies and policy-types to protect your family and your business.
While the cost for most commercial insurance segments are going down, national rating agency Fitch Ratings says commercial auto insurance rates are rising at an accelerated pace. It also predicted that rates will continue to increase in the near future.
This news is probably making steam come out of your ears. Your Commercial Auto Insurance went up last year, and the year before that, and now it’s going up again! What? This may be especially troubling if none of your company vehicles has been involved in an accident for several years.
So, why are you paying More for Commercial Auto Insurance? From multiple insurance company’s studies, below are a few of the factors you cannot control that are driving up commercial auto insurance rates.
Some of these include:
Steps to Control Your Commercial Auto Insurance
The good news is that our insurance carriers are not all gloom and doom. Below are ways you can help keep your commercial auto insurance costs in line. You should start by:
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This question keeps coming up from my brewery and distillery clients. As a Commercial Insurance Agent specializing in the craft beverage world, I'll tell you that your brewery or distillery's insurance policy most likely does NOT specifically exclude pets at your facility - essentially, allowing them to be there.
Now, does your dog really want to be there? Maybe, maybe not. There's loud noises, as you know, a dog's ears are way more sensitive than a humans. In addition, there's numerous smells and tons of people that can put even the most docile dog on edge.
That said, let's consider a scenario. It's a sunny day, you're sitting at your favorite local craft beverage spot, and your dog is laying at your feet in a very relaxed manner. A new patron arrives with his dog and as they're walking passed your table and into the tasting room for a bubbly beverage, one dog sniffs another the wrong way and off we go. Now every dog there is on alert. Maybe there's a fight, maybe there's just growling, maybe there's blood, maybe a table is knocked over and glass falls and breaks, maybe someone cuts themselves on the glass... your fun, relaxing day has just been turned upside down.
One owner now has an injured best friend and wants to press charges on the other pet owner. Who's at fault? I'm sure we'll have 3 stories: one dog owner's, the other dog owner's and the real story. So it goes. (Shouts to the late Kurt Vonnegut.)
Now... The local township is alerted, the brewery owners are alerted, maybe fined, maybe sued... maybe not. As a dog owner, you're responsible for the care, custody and control of your pet --- says your Homeowner's Policy! This may fall back to the liability coverage on your own personal Homeowners Policy... and guess what, the company insuring your home may or may not be aware that you even own a dog. Furthermore, your dog may be on the BANNED DOG LIST and you'd have no coverage on your policy. Therefore, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars comes out of your pocket to pay legal fees and medical bills.
So, you tell me, is it worth it? From a brewery or distillery owner perspective, it's best to avoid allowing pets on premises - and tell your patrons that the reasoning is coming down from the local township that no pets are allowed in/near food or beverage manufacturing facilities. This will push away any negative thoughts toward you and your business.
Here's a typical list of Banned Dogs on Homeowners Policies and here's an article from Andy Sparhawk of CraftBeer.com discussing this same topic. https://www.craftbeer.com/craft-beer-muses/should-you-bring-your-dog-to-breweries
Protect your Guests. Protect their Pets. Protect your Employees. Protect your Business! Hope this helps. Cheers!
Kyle C. Rheiner - CraftBrewingInsurance.com -
Insuring 100+ Craft Beverage companies in the United States.
We're honored to be featured on the cover of Independent Agent Magazine for November 2016! We were the first of 15 agents across the country to be interviewed about working with startups and millennials... After the magazine interviewed the rest of the agents, they called us back and asked us if we wanted to be featured on the cover!
We've been entrenched in the brewery world for years now, insuring over 100 breweries, distilleries and restaurants in the United States. Our insurance agency owner runs a 7bbl brewery in Pennsylvania and I get to brew on the 7bbl system quarterly - this has helped me see firsthand what happens at a brewery on a daily basis.
As a leader within the brewery insurance world, we've received much notariety and press AND... we've seen the insurance claims!
Recently, we had the opportunity to be interviewed by Property Casualty 360 Magazine about the Top 10 Insurance claims that we're seeing in the Craft Brewery world. Click here to read our article!
Return to Work (RTW) Programs are one of the many tools that can be implemented for Workers Compensation claims. With an RTW program in place, you will ultimately keep your claims costs low, which saves you money for years to come.
The goal for every Workers Compensation claim should be the prompt return to work of the injured worker. This is good for the worker and reduces the employer's claims cost. Keep in mind that transitional duty can be full-time or part-time, with potential supplemental benefits. The main goal is to return the individual to his or her original job at the earliest possible time.
There are 4 items that are needed to implement a return to work program. They are:
1. Written return to work policy and procedure
2. Written offer of modified or transitional duty work
3. Job descriptions of transitional duty jobs available on a temporary basis, if employee is unable to perform their regular job within the work restrictions (modified duty)
4. Communication with the doctor/physician's panel regarding the company's commitment to return to work.
The first step is to develop a written return to work policy and procedure. This communicates the management's philosophy of providing modified and transitional duty following a work injury, management's expectation that the employee participates, and the consequences for noncompliance. This should be part of the new hiring orientation packet so employees are aware of the RTW expectation at the onset of employment. This also should be reviewed at the time of injury.
In the craft beverage business, it doesn't have to be difficult to find work for an injured employee. Here are just a few ideas to help design a productive, temporary duty position within an injured employee's work restrictions:
1. Weighing Hops, Helping with Recipes
2. Counting Inventory
3. Planning for festivals and other events
4. Social Media Promotions
5. Sales Calls to new or existing accounts
6. Phone Answering: Answer phones, make announcements/pages, and perform minimal office work
7. Cleaning tap lines, sanitizing, cleaning tanks
8. Helping with the employee work schedules
The final step is communication with the doctor/physician's panel and the work release. The employer should establish a working relationship with a clinic or doctor(s) who is familiar with your business and your return to work program.
At each visit, the doctor should provide the employee with clear, written work restrictions or a work release. The return-to-work procedure instructs the employee to provide a copy of the work release after each appointment. You should also remind the employee to bring you a work release after each appointment. If the employee does not have this document, call the insurance carrier for assistance or the doctor's office to clarify if any work restrictions exist.
The modified or transitional duty positions are intended to result in regular employment. A general rule of thumb is that the same modified position should not exceed 90 days. If the period goes beyond 90 days, the job could be misconstrued as a permanent position.
In many states, if the employee quits or employment is terminated for reasons unrelated to the injury (i.e. dishonesty) while released to modified or transitional duty, the insurance carrier must continue to pay time loss benefits unless the company can prove a valid offer of modified or transitional duty was made to the employee.
A valid offer consists of: Attending physician approval, written offer of work, and a written return-to-work policy.
All of these are vital in reducing the claims costs if faced with this situation.
Also, if you have an employee who has been released by their doctor to modified or transitional duty but refuses to return to work, call your insurance carrier to discuss the situation and options available.
Return-to-work leads to cost savings on claims and results in savings of Workers Compensation insurance costs. In addition, the employer maintains control of the claim by offering productive work that does need to get done within your brewery, distillery, winery, or restaurant business.
At Craft Brewing Insurance, our goal is to provide you with as many tools as you would like to use in running the most cost effective, profitable craft beverage business. If you would like more information on a topic, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting a comment below!
My mother always served and bartended ever since I could remember. She worked roughly 40 years among 3 restaurants in Pennsylvania. At age 12 or so, I started as a busboy... Bussing tables. I spent 14 years in the restaurant business, truly enjoying it. The restaurant business paid for my college tuition, spring break trips, weekend money, etc - even during my first 2 years in "The Real World" after college, I continued to serve tables and tend bar.
I enjoyed the fast-paced environment as well as the different types of people that I got to meet day after day... actually, my internship came from an introduction from one of my "regulars." I have a tremendous knowledge and respect for the industry... so I've tied that into my insurance practice. General Liability, Liquor Liability, Workers Compensation, TIPS/RAMP Training, etc... We're here to be a resource for your startup or established restaurant business. Looking forward to chatting with you and your team! - Kyle
So we insure breweries and distilleries... yes. But, Our 16+ years in the beverage & hospitality industry have brought us a wealth of knowledge in the following types of businesses. We also have experience providing insurance for the following types of businesses:
Give us a ring, we'd love to hear more about your startup or your established business.
Liquor Liability Insurance: Breweries, Distilleries, Wineries
"Life's been good to me so far" - To quote the late, great Joe Walsh from the Eagles. 8 Months into specializing in the insurance for Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries (Cideries and Meaderies also) - I've been able to capture a large market share, get interviewed by 3 very popular publications, create and grow numerous relationships, and just plain become an ambassador, expert and a lover of my career.
I've learned a ton, I've brewed, I've sampled many beverages and I've even helped develop marketing plans, loss control solutions, risk management practices... all while getting only a few hours of sleep per night... thanks to my 8 month old daughter Lily.
Here's a link to an interview I did with Independent Agent Magazine regarding Liquor Liability for Breweries, Distilleries, Wineries, Restaurants and Brewpubs.
The Brewers Association recently put out an article regarding Brewery Safety - Read the article HERE
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