What kind of commercial insurance policy do you need?

What kind of commercial insurance policy do you need?

If you just opened a business, you probably do not have all your ducks in a row yet. You probably need commercial insurance, but which one? 

Wait. You didn’t know there is more than one kind of policy? Five Star Insurance Agency of Fords, NJ wants you to understand the differences behind the phrase commercial insurance.

That term actually refers to a group of policy types that include a range between malpractice and glass insurance. It simply depends on what kind of business you run.

Every business needs a business owner’s policy (BOP). It combines basics like liability and property insurance.

Liability cover things like slip and fall accidents. It also covers you if a customer gets hurt by your product.

Property insurance covers your damage from named perils like fire, flood, tornado, etc. You will need an equipment breakdown or boiler and machinery insurance policy to pay for the repair of equipment breakdowns though. It also covers your business interruption losses. 

To clean up after events such as a tornado, you need a debris removal policy. It pays for damage cleanup from a flood, fire, windstorm, etc. You have to remove debris so you can begin rebuilding.

You can insure just the glass of the building, too. A glass policy pays to replace the glass on your storefront when damaged. It covers interior glass, too. 

Businesses that deliver items or transport or store them, require an inland marine insurance policy. Doctors need malpractice insurance.

Fidelity bonds refer to a type of commercial insurance that protects against a dishonest employee stealing from the business. It also protects the business from acts of fraud and forgery.

While crime insurance still covers the two items that a fidelity bond covers, it also provides insurance coverage against computer and funds transfer fraud as well as kidnap, ransom and extortion coverage. This policy type also covers money and securities, money orders and counterfeit money.

There is much more to the world of business insurance. Come in and talk to an insurance agent at Five Star Insurance Agency of Fords, NJ  to learn more about which policies protect you.

How Life Insurance and Income Tax Impact One Another

You purchase life insurance to provide for your family in the event of your death. You want to make sure they get the full amount. That means planning a method that goes untaxed. Five Star Insurance Agency in Fords, NJ wants you to understand how your life insurance policy affects your total estate and why, depending on the scenario, your beneficiaries might get taxed.

Typically, a life insurance payment goes untaxed. The death benefit does not count toward taxable income. The exception to this occurs when the life insurance benefit comprises part of a larger estate. Currently, the US tax law sets this cap at $11.4 million.

For many executives and those with accumulated wealth, life insurance can easily drive an estate above the 11.4 million mark. That’s when placing your life insurance policy in a trust becomes vital. You can protect your investment and your beneficiaries’ benefits by placing the policy in an irrevocable trust.

Also, check your state’s estate cap. Each state uses its own and if you move, the new cap applies. Your beneficiaries could owe money on state taxes.

Your beneficiaries could also end up paying taxes if you, as the policyholder, arrange for the insurance company to “hold the policy” for a short time. Your beneficiary will pay taxes on any interest earned during that period.

Contact Five Star Insurance Agency in Fords, NJ for help planning your life insurance and your estate. We can help you find the right mix of investments and policies to protect your family and provide an untaxed death benefit for them in the case of your demise.

Who needs to carry umbrella insurance

The simplest answer to the question of who should carry umbrella insurance is anyone who has any assets. Another name for umbrella insurance is excess liability insurance and though it doesn’t give as visual a picture as the term umbrella, it is more self-explanatory. In order to determine whether umbrella insurance is a good choice for you personally stop by the office of Five Star Insurance Agency in Fords, NJ and discuss your situation.

Umbrella insurance is an additional layer of liability insurance that covers you beyond the limits of the liability coverage on your home and auto. Depending on the value of your assets, this may be the protection that you need. Your home is likely the largest investment you will ever make. The normal limits that home insurance offers are pretty basic and may be giving you a false sense of security.

If someone is hurt while visiting your home or as a result of an automobile accident they may sue you for damages. If you have to rely on the basic liability coverage provided as part of your insurance, you could possibly come up short. A typical umbrella policy can raise these liability limits up to a more acceptable amount.

In the event of a case being filed against you, your umbrella insurance can help with the legal costs involved which these days can be catastrophic. If you own a pet or have a pool, this is especially important coverage. You have worked too hard to have the assets that you have to let them be placed at risk. In a judgment against you. If you do not have enough coverage you could lose not only your current assets but your future assets.

If you live in or near Fords, NJ  why not stop by the office of Five Star Insurance Agency or give us a call. We have agents who are knowledgeable in umbrella insurance coverage and will be happy to discuss this with you

Why renters insurance is a good idea

As a renter, you may think that you don’t need renters insurance. You may think that you are covered under the landlord’s policy. If you believe that, you are mistaken. The landlord’s insurance covers his building, the exterior walls, and the roof. It may cover the appliances if they belong to the landlord. Your personal possessions are not covered. In Fords, NJ Five Star Insurance Agency has agents who would be happy to talk to you about the benefits of inexpensive renters insurance. 

Renters insurance is a good idea for a variety of reasons. If it would be a hardship for you to replace all your personal items, clothing, electronics, accessories and decor then renters insurance can help you by replacing them in the case of a covered event. Covered events can be things like fire, theft or vandalism. In the case of theft, even if you are away from your rental, your personal property is covered. 

If you own a pet and your pet were to bite someone, the expenses from this event are something that your policy covers. It also extends to someone being hurt while they are visiting you in your rental. This liability coverage would also help to pay any legal fees that you might incur. 

If a fire or a storm were to damage your home or apartment so badly that it was no longer habitable, your insurance will help with the cost of staying somewhere else until your home has regained its certificate of occupancy.

Renters insurance offers a lot of protection and if you would be unable to replace everything you own easily it is well worth having. Why not give us a call or stop by the office of Five Star Insurance Agency in Fords, NJ to discuss your renter’s insurance needs. 


The Value of Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Your Fords, NJ business needs special protection. Insurance policies like commercial auto, liability, and property ensure that you can always meet your financial obligations, no matter what happens in your daily operations. However, there are times when your business policies might not be enough. In those cases, a commercial umbrella policy from Five Star Insurance Agency could be the key to your continued success.

What is Commercial Umbrella Insurance?

An umbrella policy is an addition to your existing policies. Rather than replace your BOP or other business coverages, this policy supplements them. When another policy is triggered by a covered event, your umbrella policy adds additional funds to your payout.

Why Do You Need an Umbrella Policy?

Chances are that your business is your biggest investment. If something threatens that investment, you could find yourself in debt and without a viable way to support your family.

Every insurance policy comes with a limit. Regardless of how much damage or loss you might suffer, your policies will only be able to grant you so much financial relief. In the case of a total loss, you may not have enough money to meet your established bank and loan obligations, rebuild your grounds, and restock your inventory.

In liability cases, you can easily spend thousands of dollars defending your business in courts. If found liable for damages, you could find yourself spending out-of-pocket for court-ordered costs after your insurance coverage taps out.

The addition of a low-cost umbrella policy is the best way to ensure you’ll always have enough cash to keep your business running, no matter what problems come your way.

Contact the insurance experts at Five Star Insurance Agency for a personalized review of your business insurance needs. We can help you customize a plan that perfectly fits your Fords, NJ operation. Call us for more information on umbrella insurance.

Common Flood Insurance Myths

One of the largest myths surrounding flood insurance is that it is covered under one’s home insurance policy. In fact, most homeowners’ insurance policies will specifically exclude coverage. In order to be protected from a flood, you need to purchase a separate policy and often this is done through the US Government. Often homeowners will see that their policy provides coverage for water damage and assume that includes flood coverage. However, water damage is a very different coverage which is meant to cover damage from events such as a broken pipe. If you are unsure if you are covered for flood reach out to an agent at Five Star Insurance Agency. We proudly serve the  Fords, NJ.

A second misconception is that you can only purchase flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area. Anyone can purchase flood insurance and in fact, more than 20% of flood claims are made by households who reside in what is considered a low-risk area.

Some homeowners assume a flood policy will cover everything on the property, but this is not true. If you have a deck, patio, swimming pool or hot tub you need to check with your insurance agent to make sure the coverage is adequate for those items.

Many owners mistakenly forego flood insurance because they believe the federal government will step in and provide financial assistance after a flood. However, this is not the case, in order to qualify for the assistance the government must declare it a federal disaster zone which happens in less than 50% of flooding events nationwide.

If you live in the Fords, NJ area and would like to learn more about flood insurance, please reach out to a specialist at Five Star Insurance Agency today.


Auto Insurance in New Jersey FAQs

Auto Insurance requirements vary by state and can be confusing for new drivers. If you are new to the area or new to driving we can clear up any auto insurance confusion you may have. We serve drivers in and around Fords, NJ. 

Auto Insurance in New Jersey Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the legal coverage requirements? All drivers in the state of New Jersey must have Liability, PIP, and Uninsured Motorist Insurance to legally drive. In addition, the burden of proof of these insurances falls upon the driver.  You must provide proof with official insurance documentation if requested. Failure to have these documents can lead to fines or even license suspension. 
  • How difficult is it to get this proof of coverage?  It is not difficult at all. When you purchase your policy we will provide your official documentation that proves you are insured with us. Be sure to keep a copy in your vehicle at all times. 
  • Should I get an umbrella insurance policy in addition? There are some situations where additional coverage is prudential. If you drive often for your job but do not have commercial insurance with your employment, or if you have an extra long commute through congested areas, then extra coverage may end up protecting you in the long term. If your car is of special value due to its age or upgrades, you may want an add on as well. Discuss your personal situation when you call for a quote. 

To make sure you are protected no matter your walk in life or insurance needs, Visit us at Five Star Insurance Agency for an auto insurance quote. We serve Fords, NJ and the surrounding areas with quality insurance services so call today or click for online quoting. 

What Are The Different Life Insurance Types?

Life insurance is a way to protect your family in the event of your death. Without your income, how can your family survive? There are all sorts of different life insurance options, allowing you to choose the one that works best for your situation in Fords, NJ.

You’ll quickly find that there are a few main types of life insurance. At Five Star Insurance Agency, we recommend reviewing all of your options first.

Term life insurance is the most common and the most affordable. However, it is valid for a specific term, such as 20 years. When those 20 years are up, you no longer have coverage. It can be a great way to get you to where you and your family are financially stable. You may also have the opportunity to renew the policy for more money at the end of the term.

Whole life insurance is another option. This policy would last your entire life, ensuring that it will always provide a death benefit to your family. While whole life can be more expensive, it can also provide you with a cash-out option that will help you with your retirement years later on.

Finally, there is universal life insurance. Similar to whole life, it is valid for your entire life. What sets this insurance policy apart is that you can pay as a lump sum or have fixed premiums. Additionally, it will establish a cash value that can vary because of being tied to industry rates. It offers you an interest rate based on market value, giving you a little bit of flexibility.

Start learning more about life insurance by contacting Five Star Insurance Agency today. One of our independent insurance agents can answer your questions and help to find the policy that works for you and your budget in Fords, NJ.


Does Condo Insurance Cover Water Damage?

You may have bought your Fords, NJ condo because the idea of low-maintenance living appealed you. It‘s not likely having to take care of water damage caused by your water heater played into that fantasy. But, it can and does happen often, and if it happens in your condo it can turn into a big, expensive headache if you’re not prepared. Condo insurance will keep you protected against most water perils. 

Water Damage That’s Typically Covered 

If you have a condo insurance policy in place for your Fords, NJ home, you’re generally protected against water damage that your appliances, water heater, heating or air conditioning system, or plumbing cause. The water damage must be from accidental causes rather than wear and tear. For example, if your older water heater cracks and spills water all over your flooring, while your insurance will generally cover the damage to your floors, your condo insurance isn’t likely to cover the cost of buying a new water heater. Check with your Five Star Insurance Agency representative to find out about any specific limits or exclusions in your policy. 

Water Damage That’s Not Typically Covered 

Some types of water damage aren’t normally covered by a standard condo insurance policy, such as sewer or drainage back-ups. To safeguard yourself from those risks to your condo you may need to purchase additional “water back-up" coverage. Flooding is another water event that is typically not included in a basic condo insurance policy. If flooding is a concern you will need a separate flood insurance policy for protection against flood waters. 

For more information about how condo insurance can help protect your investment from water damage loss, or for answers to any questions about condo coverage limitations or exclusions, give the insurance experts at Five Star Insurance Agency a call today.

Touring Musicians and Commercial Insurance,

Touring musicians from Fords, NJ spend much of their lives on the road and typically invest a lot of money in their group. Thankfully, we at Five Star Insurance Agency can provide high-quality insurance options for people who run this type of business as a primary source of income.

Who is Covered By This Insurance?

Musicians come in many different varieties and are covered by touring performance artist insurance options. These policies cover a very wide array of performers, including individuals such as poets, contortionists, puppeteers, impressionists, comedians, and even ventriloquists.

Thankfully, just about every type of musician can also purchase this type of insurance. Rock and roll bands, choral groups, DJ performers, conductors, orchestral groups, barbershop quartets, bluegrass bands, and much more are all covered by this type of high-quality insurance.

What Genres are Covered?

Since touring musicians often cover many genres, these policies will cover the following types of groups:

  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Big band
  • Bluegrass
  • Classical
  • Pop
  • Gospel
  • Swing
  • Ethnic
  • Folk
  • Blues
  • Oldies
  • R&B

What Coverage Types are Available?

Coverage to these musical groups includes payments for bodily injuries, sexual abuse, damage to premises, legal liability, physical injuries, property damage, and more. As a result, touring musicians can protect their investment and avoid a serious financial loss while out on the road.

However, there are many exceptions that are not covered by this type of policy. For example, injuries suffered while crowd surfing or performing in a mosh pit are not covered by touring musician insurance because the performer assumes a certain risk when performing these actions.

Protect Your Band’s Finances

Please contact us at Five Star Insurance Agency if you are in a Fords, NJ bands that need great insurance. We will work hard to find a policy that meets your needs and get you covered for all possible losses.