For Seriously Good Car Insurance visit: Scott Lynch Agency or call (317) 420-2867
For Seriously Good Car Insurance visit: Scott Lynch Agency or call (317) 420-2867
by Carolyn Sennett on June 2, 2016
Employee terminations and payroll record keeping are just two examples of routine business matters that if not handled properly could quickly spiral into a serious problem for business owners.
Employee termination checklist
The law presumes that employees are employed at will. That means an at-will employee may be fired at any time, for any reason (except for a few illegal reasons). But even when termination decisions are made with good cause, there are hundreds of potential grievances that could be filed by former employees. The defensibility of those claims is often dependent on the actions that employers take before the decision to terminate an employee is made or shared.
Watch a 20-minute webinar that guides employers in how to better manage the process before decisions are made so they can take steps now to mitigate those risks.
Overview of federal wage and hour laws
Federal wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) continue to rise nationwide. Simple errors in payroll or recorded hours worked, while seemingly insignificant on a per employee basis, can lead to significant exposure under the FLSA due to the collective action nature of these litigations.
Watch a 20-minute webinar that guides employers in avoiding common errors and mitigating risks.
The videos were provided under an arrangement with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. Contact a local Erie Insurance agent to learn more about affordable ways to protect your business.
by Carolyn Sennett on June 20, 2017
A website is essential to marketing your business. As customers research your products and services, one of their first stops will be your website. It is their first introduction to your business, so naturally you’ll want to do all you can to make their virtual visit a positive experience.
Here is a five-question checkup to help make sure your website is in tip-top condition and gives you a competitive edge.
With more people browsing websites using their smartphones, tablets and other devices, it’s important to create a website that operates seamlessly on multiple platforms. Google reports that more than half off all searches begin on a mobile device. You don’t want to miss a sale or a customer because of a poor website experience.
A few simple things that you can do to optimize your site for search engines are add keywords and title tags to your web pages and create and regularly post to a blog to help drive traffic to your website. If you are new to search, look for guides for beginners or tips from reputable resources like moz.com.
First impressions of your website are important to keep someone engaged. It’s OK to have graphics on your home page, but do not use complex graphics that may take a long time to download. Be sure your site explains why your business is the best solution for your customers’ needs. Most business websites include at least these four pages: home, product and services, about us and contact us. If you have an interesting business history, add that to your site, too. You may even want to include bios and pictures of yourself and your staff. People like to feel personally connected to the business that they are working with. Check out the infographic from Entrepreneur for more must-have business website features.
Keeping your content current is a smart way to build awareness, generate sales and maintain customer relationships. It’s also important for your site to have clear calls to actions. In other words, what do you want your site visitors to do? Common calls to action are to contact you, make a purchase, sign up for a service or get a quote. Capturing visitors’ email addresses could also help you stay in touch with them if they are not ready to buy right away.
If your business has a physical address, then you will most likely have a local listing in Google, Yelp, Bing, Internet Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Local and other directories. It is important to claim your listing because it can then lead people to you to find essential details like your business’s address, phone number and hours. It can also help your business rank in local search engine results and encourage customers to post reviews about your products or services. Websites like Google and Facebook for Business let you claim and update the information without a fee, but others will charge you for the privilege.
As you can see, a well-designed website is an asset and a necessity for businesses. It’s a way to build relationships and communicate directly with your customers about the products and services that you offer. An effective business website also gives you credibility to show that you’re committed to providing solutions to your clients’ needs. The more you work on your website, the better your chances for business success.
Visit our Business Website: Scott Lynch Agency
by Amanda Prischak on March 22, 2017
You typically come across these issues when you’re talking about business insurance. It’s easy to get them confused.
The key difference between a certificate of insurance and an additional insured comes down to whether you have coverage under someone else’s insurance policy. This only applies if you’re named as an additional insured on a policy.
What’s an additional insured?
When you’re named an additional insured on a policy, you are typically insured for covered claims arising from the Named Insured’s negligence (or your joint negligence) with regard to the premises, project and equipment that’s described in the additional insured endorsement. This commonly will include defense costs should you need to hire an attorney if the claim falls within the terms of the additional insured endorsement.
Businesses typically request to be named as an additional insured on a policy if another business’s negligence could affect them. Two examples could include:
A business is usually added as an additional insured via an endorsement to a business insurance policy. Many contracts spell out who should be named as an additional insured on a business’ policy.
There are two ways most policies treat additional insureds: on a specific basis and on a blanket basis. A specific basis is just that—a specific person or business is named as an additional insured on a policy.
Meanwhile, a blanket basis covers anyone who meets the definition of “additional insured” as it’s spelled out in the policy. The policy typically names broad types of parties like “contractors” or “landlords.”
What is a certificate of insurance?
A certificate of insurance is a document that shows that insurance coverage is in effect. It shows the dates of coverage, the limits, and the line of business that’s covered.
The certificate shows that a policy is in force—but that doesn’t mean the person or business requesting it is covered as well. As a certificate holder, you are only receiving proof that the insurance policy exists; the certificate of insurance is not an insurance policy and does not provide coverage or serve to amend or alter the terms of an insurance policy.
A certificate of insurance is usually requested by one party in an agreement, contract or transaction to make sure another party has the appropriate insurance coverage. A certificate of insurance does not entitle you to rights as an additional insured. For example, you aren’t provided any coverage under the other party’s policy in the event of a loss, unless the policy has been endorsed to provide coverage. For that reason, the best way to verify that you have been added to a policy as an additional insured is to request proof that the additional insured endorsement has been added to the insurance policy. If the policy has been endorsed with the additional insured form, the certificate will often include the form number and specific information about the endorsement that reflects what has been added to the policy. Proof may therefore be a certificate with this information listed or an actual copy of the declarations showing the endorsement.
As you can see, additional insureds and certificates of insurance can be pretty tricky. And not having the right information can put you (as well as your business) at financial risk. That’s why it’s so important to have an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent in your corner. An Erie Insurance agent in your community can help you make sense of these issues and more.
When you think about the costs of owning a car, what do you think of – the gas, maintenance or maybe insurance? Actually, depreciation is often one of the larger expenses of car ownership.
According to U.S. News & World Report, new vehicles lose value at an average decline of 15-25 percent each year during the first five years. And whether new or used, all vehicles lose value over time. Since the rate of depreciation varies by vehicle model, it’s a good idea to take resale value into consideration when shopping for your new ride.
According to the experts at Kelley Blue Book, picking a vehicle with excellent resale value is very likely the most important thing you can do when it comes to keeping costs down. Paying a fair price for the car and securing a good loan rate can be undone by poor resale value, because eventually you’re going to sell it or trade it in.
Cars that retain a higher value
If you’re car shopping this year, it appears that bigger vehicles are depreciating better. Trucks and SUVs appear in nine of the top 10 spots on the Kelly Blue Book 2017 Best Resale Value Awards. Per Kelley, while the average new vehicle will be worth about 33 percent of its original sticker price after 60 months, the top 10 vehicles on their list will return an average of 50 percent to their owners at resale time.
The Kelley authorities say that choosing a car with good resale value can often save you more money in the long run than going for big rebates and other incentives.
New cars that may lose value the quickest
To highlight the other end of the spectrum, Forbes magazine shared the results of a study conducted by the used-vehicle website Carlypso.com. Among the top 10 vehicles expected to have resale issues were the Nissan Leaf, Dodge Charger, Volkswagen Beetle, Mitsubishi Lancer and Kia Optima.
A little research goes a long way
When you’re ready to shop for your next vehicle, it will pay to do some research on resale value before making an investment. Whichever new (or used) car you choose, Erie Insurance can ensure that investment is protected with a great auto policy at a great price. And we can help you take care of the depreciation issue, too, with a coverage endorsement that provides true replacement value if you have an accident.
It’s called New Auto Security, and you can ask your agent to add it to your ERIE auto policy. If you’ve had your new car less than two years and it gets totaled, ERIE will reimburse you the cost to replace it with the newest model year. And if your new car is in an accident but it’s not a total loss, ERIE will pay to repair the vehicle without a deduction for depreciation.
If your vehicle is past its second birthday, ERIE will pay the cost to replace it with another vehicle of the same model that is two years newer. That means the coverage is good to have no matter what the age of your vehicle.
Reaching out to a local Erie Insurance agent is a good way to start your research. He or she can explain the coverage details and get you a quote.
A vehicle is considered new when it is less than two years old and is owned by the original purchaser. Eligible vehicles must carry both comprehensive and collision coverage, and the policy deductible will be applied at the time of a claim. Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this post. The endorsement is sold on a per-vehicle basis, not per policy, and contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is not available in all states. Please refer to our disclaimer and talk to an ERIE agent for policy details.
We speak your language. Why do you need uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage? Call us at (317) 420-2867 to find out why or visit us at Scott Lynch Agency