Do I need commercial auto insurance if my business only uses a few cars?

If your small business in Ball Ground, GA uses any automobiles for work-related purposes, you will need a commercial auto insurance policy. If the vehicle is in an accident, your claim could be denied if your insurance company found out that the automobile was being used for business purposes at the time. Your business could end up being responsible for paying for the damages.

At The Sanford Group, we can help you find the right kind of coverage for your needs. Here are some examples of times when you would need a commercial auto insurance policy:

  • If your business uses a vehicle to pick up or deliver goods, supplies, food, or even messages
  • If a vehicle is used as a taxi
  • When the vehicle is owned or leased by the business or registered to the business
  • If any of your employees use your vehicle for work-related purposes
  • When your business rents or leases a vehicle to someone else
  • If your vehicle has equipment permanently installed, such as ladder racks or toolboxes, that are used in the business
  • If your vehicle is equipped with other kinds of equipment used for your business
  • Or if you have any vehicles that have a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds, such as trucks or utility vehicles, or if the vehicles have a weighted load capacity of at least 2,000 pounds

Just like with a personal auto insurance policy, you will then have options about what kind of coverage you want. Liability coverage, collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorists are just a few examples. If you want to speak about a policy to protect your Ball Ground, GA business, please call The Sanford Group today.

Times in Life When You Should Increase Your Life Insurance.

Live moves fast. There is a saying "the days are long but the years are short", and at The Sanford Group we will see our customers go from just starting out and purchasing their first car insurance policy to adding a home insurance, and then life insurance. Each change typically indicates a big change in the client’s life and it is interesting to see advancement through life from an insurance perspective. There are some milestones in life that go by that cause the need for an inspection of your current insurance policies. We want to help you stay protected, come what may. We serve clients in and around Ball Ground, GA.

Times When You Should Increase Your Life Insurance Policy

  • Tying the Knot. When you get married it is a good idea to purchase a life insurance policy to protect your spouse from additional stress if something happens. Even unmarried people should have a basic policy to cover funeral costs. 
  • Buying a Home. A home loan typically takes many years to pay off. Do not saddle your loved ones with figuring out how to take over mortgage payments in order to keep your asset, buy a life insurance policy with the specific purpose of covering the loan in the event of the worst. 
  • Having a Baby, or Another Dependent. Whether you are expecting a bundle of joy, taking on the children of a family member temporarily, or allowing your aging parents to move in, you will want to protect them from financial ruin in the case of your death with a policy that will cover the home and give them time to figure out their next steps in life.

Contact us at The Sanford Group if you want to learn more about life insurance or upgrade your current policy. We proudly serve Ball Ground, GA.

When is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Mold can come as a shock if you are not expecting it.  What is more startling is finding out that your homeowner’s insurance may or may not pay for the damage. Here is what you need to know about situations behind mold cleanup and insurance coverage in Ball Ground, GA.

Covered Peril

Covered peril is a term that is uncommon to most homeowners. In an insurance policy, peril refers to a specific risk that is caused by a flood, windstorm, fire or other natural elements. Most mold cleanup and remediation is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy when mold is caused quickly by peril. 

Additional Mold Coverage

A homeowner that discovers a patch of mold from a leaky pipe behind a wall is not likely to be able to file an insurance claim.  However, if this type of hidden damage is a concern, check with your insurance agent about additional mold coverage. An insurance company, like The Sanford Group, will be able to provide estimates and help you weigh the pros and cons of additional mold coverage. 

Should Mold be a Concern

Mold should always be taken seriously. However, the amount of mold and the reason for its presence should dictate whether an insurance claim should be filed. For example, the weather in Ball Ground, GA can get very hot. Condensation may form around windows from humidity and cause mold to grow. By fixing the leaks and cleaning the small spots of mold yourself, you can save money and still have peace of mind.

Mold coverage by an insurance company, like The Sanford Group that serves Ball Ground, GA, should only be considered when catastrophic events create a danger to property and health. 

 

 

 

 

 

What do I do if my car was the only one involved in an accident?

Being in an accident is stressful and can be frightening. Many people panic, which can lead to making a decision which isn’t the best.

Drivers in Ball Ground, GA should call 911 after an accident so an officer can come help out at the scene. The law enforcement officer is required to file an accident report if the physical damage exceeds $500 or if anyone has been injured or died as a result of the accident.

If you were the only one in an accident, the same basic rules apply. Sometimes you are the only one injured and only your vehicle was damaged.   Single car crashes happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Bad weather, especially when visibility is poor.
  • Poorly placed or missing road signs.
  • Driver inattention or fatigue.
  • Bad driving by other drivers.
  • Mechanical problems with your vehicle.

If you call 911, an officer will come and help you assess the situation. You may not realize you are hurt, but you are probably shaken up.  It may also be difficult on your own to find the information for the property owner if there is damage. The Sanford Group can help you if you want to learn more about filing accident reports.

If you have an accident report in Ball Ground, GA, the other party cannot use it as evidence against you. Georgia specifically disallows this kind of evidence, so a report filed with the Department of Transportation or resulting actions were taken by the Department of Driver Services cannot be used in court to prove a case against you.

Accident laws can seem confusing, and you don’t want to do the wrong thing and pay for it later. Please call  The Sanford Group if you have any questions or if you want a free quote on a new policy.

Does Life Insurance Cover Funeral Expenses?

Life insurance will cover a funeral, but "funeral insurance" is not one specific type of policy. There are actually a number of ways to get covered in Ball Ground, GA:

  • Naming a funeral director as beneficiary. A funeral director can be named as a beneficiary on a policy or as sole beneficiary of a smaller policy. This will allow for the insurance to go directly to covering funeral expenses.
  • Making arrangements with a family member. When laying out who will receive what in a life insurance policy, many will choose to enlist a family member to plan the funeral, with the understanding that the extra money they are receiving through the policy is expressly for that purpose. It is important to select a trusted family member for this option. Final arrangements can be difficult to enforce given that the policy holder has passed on.
  • Pre-need contracts. It is possible to sign a contract with a funeral home so that the final expenses, including burial plot, casket, and other funeral expenses are pre-arranged. In this instance it will be to the beneficiaries to pay these expenses from the policy when the time comes.

There are a number of options for paying for a funeral with a life insurance policy, and it ultimately comes down to the arrangements that the policy holder is comfortable making with their insurer, funeral director and family.

If you’d like to learn more and arrange a plan that works for you, get in touch with The Sanford Group. We can help to arrange the right plan to provide you with the peace of mind you want when buying life insurance.

How Commercial Insurance Can Protect Your Assets

Commercial insurance safeguards your business from major financial losses. Whether you own a building or lease office space, commercial coverage protects your physical assets. This can give you peace of mind in case the unexpected happens. It also protects your personal assets by covering circumstances outside your control.

Commercial insurance plans vary depending on your industry and where you live. However, insurance companies categorize coverage by the asset or event covered, so it’s relatively easy to find the coverage you need for your Ball Ground, GA business. However, agents at The Sanford Group can help you find the best policy for your situation.

Kinds of Items and Events Covered

Commercial insurance protects the future of your business. Basic policies cove losses from fires to explosions, as well as theft and vandalism. Depending on the risks in your area, different events may appear in your policy, including:

  • Building
  • Signage
  • Inventory
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Landscaping
  • Other assets

The exact items covered depend on your concerns and major risks to your business. For example, you can cover a fleet of company cars and get coverage to pay for unintentional damage to customer’s homes.

When you shop around for commercial insurance, keep the unique need of your business in mind. Before you call your insurance agent, make a list of everything you want to be insured. That is helpful when you come in to get a quote.

Call the Sanford Group with your questions on commercial insurance. Feel free to set up an appointment for a free quote or to sign up for a commercial insurance policy. You worked hard to get your Ball Ground, GA business off the ground and you show up every day to keep things running smoothly, let us help you protect your life’s works.

Getting Auto Insurance for Your New Car

It is exciting to think about getting a new car. Before you rush off to the dealership, take a moment to consider the auto insurance as well. It will be helpful for your monthly budget to know the total amount you need for the car payments plus the insurance premiums. Depending on the type of vehicle you are considering, these amounts may differ significantly.

Why Getting Auto Insurance from a Car Dealership is Not a Good Idea

The main goal of the salesperson at a car dealership is to sell you a car and then add on as many extras as possible. A dealership is not permitted to let a vehicle that they sell drive off the lot without it being covered by auto insurance.

That does not mean that the auto insurance offered by a car dealership is a good one or that it is priced well. In fact, the dealership is likely to get a commission/kickback for placing the insurance with certain underwriters. This may add to the price for the insurance.

On top of the questionable quality issues, buying auto insurance through a dealer is not the same as having personal attention from an agent at The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground GA and the surrounding communities. It is a better idea to make direct contact with an agent who can serve your needs and will be able to help you in the future if something comes up

Get Auto Insurance Lined Up In Advance

By calling your agent before you make the car purchase, your application information can be entered into the system and ready to go. Then, all you need to do is call the agent from the auto dealership and fax the agent a copy of the purchase agreement with the VIN number, year, make, model, and the purchase price to get auto insurance coverage.

Get a quote for new auto insurance by calling 678-454-0661 to speak with an agent at The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA or if you prefer, you may use the convenient online form.

How Home Renovations Affect Home Insurance

Summer is a great time to renovate your Georgia home, making it a more comfortable, functional abode for your family. Before tackling home improvements, however, talk to your insurance agent from The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA about how renovations will affect your home insurance coverage. Here are a few ways major renovations could affect your policy.   

Raise Property Value  

Major renovations such as a kitchen remodel or adding a back patio for BBQs can raise the value of your property. If the new value of your home exceeds the limits of the dwelling coverage on your current policy, you’ll need to extend these limits to protect your investment. This requires an update to your policy. Ideally, your dwelling insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding your home if it suffers a total loss in a covered peril. Anything less could result in your paying the difference out-of-pocket.

Raise Home Insurance Costs

Home renovations need to be added to your insurance policy to be protected along with the rest of your home. Some renovations can increase your home insurance costs. Renovations that add more livable space to your property, i.e. new patio, new bathroom, home office, need insurance protection against damage, theft or liability risks, increasing insurance costs. If you invest in new goods for your renovations such as new appliances, electronics, etc., these also need protection, increasing the cost of your personal property coverage.

Reduce Home Insurance Costs

On the flip side, some renovations such as upgrading your electrical, HVAC or plumbing systems, could reduce your home insurance costs as they reduce your risks of damage due to accidental fire or water leakage. Safety features such as a new security system could also reduce your home insurance rates.

To learn more about home insurance options, coverage and costs, contact The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA.  

5 Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Your End Of Life Plans

Conversations about estate planning can be tough- especially when you’re talking to your kids. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s important to talk to your loved ones about your will, your end of life plans, and any special wishes you have for after you pass away. At The Sanford Group serving Ball Ground, GA, we help our customers create plans that allow them to discuss these issues with certainty and confidence. Here are some tips to talk with your kids about your end of life plans. 

– Know your kids and decide whether it’s a good conversation to have as a group or one on one. If your family is particularly close, it might be a good idea to have the conversation in a group setting. 

– Expect emotion on both sides. It’s normal for this to be tough. Having a hard time discussing the end of life plans means that you value your kids and the value you. Don’t try to stifle the emotion that goes alongside a hard conversation. 

– Listen. Your kids might have some ideas that you may not have considered, and it’s a good idea to be receptive to at least hear them out. 

No matter what your end of life plans, it’s important that you have a solid life insurance plan so that your loved ones aren’t burdened with the end of life costs. At The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground, GA, we can set you up with an affordable policy that will ease your mind about your family’s role in your end of life plans. Stop in to see us today to chat about a policy that makes sense for your needs and budget.

Commercial Insurance All Businesses Need

If you just started a business or got hired to manage one, you probably know that you must have commercial insurance. Commercial insurance is not a single insurance policy. Instead, it is a category of policies.

Depending on the type of business, there are different insurance needs for particular circumstances; however, there are certain commercial insurance policies that nearly every business needs. Work with your agent at The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground, GA, and the surrounding area, to determine the best solutions for your business that provide adequate coverage.

Here are the basic insurance policies needed by most businesses:

Workers’ Compensation

Under Georgia state law, any business with three or more employees (even if they are part-time) must have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are self-employed, workers’ compensation insurance is not required.

Even if not required by law, it is beneficial for all businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If a worker is injured or killed on the job, the liability exposure for the business is limited. The worker gets standard benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. Without this coverage, the business has liability exposure that is unlimited.

Commercial Liability Insurance

Every business needs some general liability protection and some need professional liability insurance, such as healthcare workers, attorneys, accountants, contractors, and other licensed professionals.

Property Insurance

This provides protection for risks to any real or personal property owned or leased by the business. It offers protection for equipment, inventory, office furniture, and other property.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

If the business owns any vehicles or uses any (even if only occasionally) for business purposes, there is a need for commercial vehicle insurance.

Business Interruption

This provides protection if any catastrophic event occurs that causes the business to stop operating. This is critical protection to keep an owner from losing his or her business by a sudden drop in cash flow due to circumstances beyond the owner’s control.

Specialty Coverage

Nearly every business needs cybersecurity coverage now because the risk of damage from a cyber attack is so great and so costly. Additionally, a business benefits from having an umbrella insurance policy to extend the policy limits of other coverage and to offer protection for things that are not covered in other policies, which may include discrimination, defamation, or sexual harassment lawsuits.

Conclusion

Every business needs to have basic commercial insurance coverage. Contact your agent at The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA to discuss your needs by calling 678-454-0661.