6 Free Apps for Contractors

by Amanda Prischak on April 4, 2017

Payroll, taxes, operations—there are lots of details to stay on top of when you run your own business.

Fortunately, today’s evolving technology makes it easier than ever to be organized. And small business owners rely on it: A survey conducted by the National Small Business Association revealed that 70 percent of small business owners said that technology is key to their success. 

Of course, more complex technology solutions can cost quite a bit. But many others charge only a modest fee—or are even free. That’s the case with the six phone apps below. They can help you get the job done at no extra cost. Read on to see how.

The app: Google Keep

Best for: Creating lists

What it does: When you need to offload an idea for later use, this is the app you’ll want to use. Google Keep lets you create notes and lists, set reminders, loop in a “collaborator” and more. Even better, it automatically syncs to your devices.

The app:Bubble Level (for Android) and iHandy Level (for iOS)

Best for: Calibrating surfaces

What it does: Forgot your level? That’s no problem when you have either of these apps. They’ll help you check surfaces, calculate angles and more. 

The app: Safety Meeting App

Best for: Getting help with OSHA compliance

What it does: With versions for 34 trade types, Safety Meeting App lets you track safety meetings, accidents, employee attendance and much more. It also has information on 950 safety topics. The first year is free.

The app: Wave

Best for: Staying on top of accounting

What it does: Whether you want to create and send an invoice, scan a receipt or create an accounting report, Wave has you covered. The free version offers a surprising number of services—and more complicated functions like paying employees are available for a fee.

The app: Construction Manager

Best for: Staying connected to the people in the office and the field

What it does: Whether you need to share project estimates, time sheets or maintenance logs, Construction Manager has you covered. It lets everyone stay in the loop, no matter where they may be. It also lets salespeople and estimators create on-site estimates for projects. The app is free, and you have the option of purchasing options that block advertising, give you unlimited form submissions and more.

The app: SignNow

Best for: Gathering signatures

What it does: How does signing a document or getting someone’s signature with no need to mail, fax or scan anything sound? SignNow makes that possible with just one simple finger stroke serving as your signature. The free version gives you five signatures a month—after that, it’s just $6.99 a month for the service.

Erie Insurance does not endorse the apps described above. Please do your own investigation and make up your own mind whether any of these apps is right for you.

For Business Insurance in Indiana visit: Scott Lynch Insurance

Ask ERIE: What’s the Difference Between a Certificate of Insurance and an Additional Insured?

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 general contractor hires a subcontractor to help with a project. The subcontractor does negligent work, which leads someone to get injured and file a lawsuit against both the general contractor and the subcontractor. By being named an additional insured on the subcontractor’s policy, the general contractor  may obtain coverage under the subcontractor’s policy within the policy’s limits.
  • A wholesaler-distributor distributes products manufactured by another company. A product injures someone, and the injured person files a lawsuit against the wholesaler-distributer and the manufacturer. By being named an additional insured on the manufacturer’s policy, the wholesaler-distributer may obtain coverage under the manufacturer’s policy within the policy’s limits.

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.

 

Massive Rate Reductions

ATTN: Electrical Contractors, Excavation Contractors, Machine Shops, Metal Goods Manufacturers and Mini and other Warehouses *** one of our insurers has announced massive rate reductions. Call us at 317 420 2867 to see what we can do for you!

Electrical Contractors – Huge savings!

Erie Insurance has just announced a massive rate decrease for our Electrical Contractors in the Erie Insurance Ultraflex class of Electrical contractors …. call us to see how we can help your business at (317) 420-2867 or visit our Agency on line at: Scott Lynch Agency.

Electrical Contractor

Be a Boy Scout

If you were ever a Boy Scout as a kid, you know how important it is to be prepared. Prepared for what? For anything that life throws at you. It’s true when you’re camping in the woods, and even more true when you’re running a business.

 

We really hope that your business is never affected by an earthquake , tornado, freak meteor from the sky or other natural disaster. But these things do happen, and an ounce of preparation before the unexpected can make picking up the pieces much easier.

 

  • Back up your data early and often at an offsite location. An external hard drive won’t help you if it is damaged or destroyed in a storm. Consider offsite data storage or storage in the cloud.
  • Make a comprehensive list of all of your equipment, furniture, and fixtures. It’s much easier to file your claim with a full list of your property. Pictures are even better!
  • Have a disaster preparedness plan. Do your employees know what to do and where to go in case of an emergency? What if you have customers in house when disaster strikes? Click here for more information on creating a plan, and make sure to store it both on and offsite. It’s estimated that 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. With a little planning and some help from an Erie property insurance policy, you’ll be back on your feet before you know it. Call us to talk about how you can protect your business at (317) 420-2867 or visit us online at Scott Lynch Agency.

Thinking about home improvements

As spring approaches, thoughts of needed home repairs start running through your mind. Who do I use, what is needed vs. what is wanted and how do I pay for it? Here is a helpful website to assist you: Repairing your Home

Remember most insurance companies require you to notify them when ever you increase your home value – visit Scott Lynch Agency for more information.

 

5 kinds of insurance you’ll be grateful you bought after a riot

I stole the title from Rosalie L Donlon from her Sep 23, 2016 article on PropertyCasualty360.com, and I plan on stealing most of the material from her article for this blog. It is a fantastic article and unfortunately a subject we are having to discuss more and more.

First of all visit Property Casualty 360 for a host of great articles regarding business insurance and you can follow Rosalie L Donlon on Twitter: @RosalieDonlon. The article that I am leaning on heavily for today’s blog can be read at “5 kinds of insurance you’ll be grateful you bought after a riot”. Please read the full article – you’ll be glad you did.

Here is the bottom line for any business owner. Sit down with your agent and discuss your business coverage. If you are an Indiana based business, I’d love to have that conversation with you. After a claim it is too late to find out if your business will be able to recover or not.

According to Rosalie L Donlon the five coverage options you want to make sure you have a firm understanding of for your business before a riot are as follows (not in order of priority).

  • Property Damage
  • Business interruption
  • Civil authority
  • Extra expense insurance
  • Other coverages

You may be shocked to find that your policy has some of these options excluded and you will not be covered.

Another great resource to educate yourself on your insurance policy is the Insurance Information Institute which can be found on line at: Insurance Information Institute. Don’t just rely on your agent, there may be facts about your business that he or she did not know to ask and you did not know to share. This third party resource may save your business.

You are welcome to visit my site Scott Lynch Agency for more helpful information on our broad line of insurance products.