Do Family-Owned Businesses Need Workers Compensation Insurance?

There are a lot of myths and misinformation floating around about workers compensation and workers compensation insurance. As such, you may not always understand when you are required to purchase a policy and when you are not. If you have a family-owned business, you may wonder if you need workers compensation insurance. At StateChoice, serving the greater West Hartford, CT. area, we want to help you understand the answer to this question. 

Are You Required to Buy Workers Compensation Insurance for a Family-Owned Business? 

In the state of Connecticut, you are required to buy workers compensation insurance if you have one or more employee who works for you. This employee can be your child, a niece or nephew, your own sibling, or the employee maybe someone who has no blood ties to you. If you employ one or more individuals, workers compensation insurance is required by law. 

When Are You Not Required to Buy Workers Compensation Insurance for a Family-Owned Business? 

The only time that you are not required to purchase workers compensation for a family-owned business is when all of those who are working for the company own all or part of the business. For example, if you and your spouse own the business, and you are the only two who work in the business, you do not need workers compensation insurance. Likewise, if you and all of your adult children own the business together, and you are the only ones who work in the business, no workers compensation insurance is needed. 

Are you looking to purchase workers compensation for your business? Here at StateChoice, serving the West Hartford, CT. area, we can answer any questions you may have about workers compensation and help you find the right policy and coverages for your needs. Call us now to get started. 

 

Does Commercial Insurance Cover Injury Due to Negligence?

Your business is important and making sure that your commercial business is covered and well taken care of is a must. Commercial insurance covers a range of different things and employee injury and patron injury is one of them. For those that live in the West Hartford, CT area, the agents with StateChoice can help you to get the right policy for your needs.

For the most part, your commercial insurance is only going to cover injury that is accidental. If you have a dangerous situation and you do not rectify it and someone gets hurt, that injury is your fault and therefore you are going to be required to pay for any associated expenses. If someone if injured in your business and it is not your fault, you are not going to have to worry about paying as your commercial policy will help to cover those costs. If it is found that someone was injured on your property as a result of negligence on your part, that individual can then sue you for damages.

If you have an unsafe workplace and you want to make sure that you are not going to be at fault for any sort of issues, you should take the time to make sure that you are keeping your workspace safe for all your employees and for your patrons as well. Injury as a result of negligence on the part of the business owner can also be a cause for a criminal case, especially if you knew that the work place was not safe and you did nothing to rectify it. For those that live in the West Hartford, CT area, the agents with StateChoice can help you find the policy that is going to protect you and your patrons and employees.

Weather and water damage covered by homeowners insurance

Weather and water are two of the many things that can cause severe damage to your home. While some water events are caused by weather, others are not. When you own a home, it is one of your major investments and protecting it in the event of a water or weather event is important. Weather can be an issue in all parts of the country, in Connecticut rain, snow and hail make life exciting and can be damaging to your home. The expert agents at StateChoice in West Hartford, CT are ready, willing and able to help you to navigate the treacherous waters of home insurance coverage. 

Weather

A basic home insurance policy will cover your home from damage caused by wind and rain but not by flooding caused by rain. Frozen rain in the form of ice or hail is also covered. Freezing rain or snow on your roof can cause a backup that results in water coming into your home and damaging your roof and ceilings. Your personal property may not be covered which is why it is important to talk to an agent about the specifics of your policy.  

Water

Water takes many forms, it can be rain but it can also come from a broken pipe, frozen pipes can be an issue in the cold weather or sewer backup that can happen due to a variety of different events.  Both of these types of water damage are covered with homeowners insurance. 

Residents of the greater West Hartford, CT area can get the help they are looking for with their homeowner insurance needs at StateChoice insurance. Why not give their office a call or stop by for a no-obligation quote. They have the information you need to make sure you have the necessary weather and water coverage. 

 

I’m 26 Now How Will My Auto Insurance Policy Be Affected

By the age of 26, you should’ve been enjoying lower insurance rates for about a year. Automobile insurance rates decrease when a driver who has been driving for a few years reaches the age of 25. As stated, this is only true if you are an experienced driver. If you are a new 26-year-old driver then the department of motor vehicles still allows time for incremental improvement. That means that as you drive more you’ll become more experienced and eventually your insurance premiums will decrease. When you are a new driver your liability is higher due to your inexperience, as A result, your insurance premium will be higher as well. 

Not every driver starts off as a teen driver.  When you acquire your driver’s license when you are a teen, in the state of Connecticut you must be at least 16 years of age, there are programs in place to slowly acclimate the driver to his driving responsibility. Teenagers must have a chaperone and have curfew guidelines in order to become safer drivers. Some motorists begin their tenure when they are somewhat older.  The 26-year-old driver who is new has the same restrictions once they receive a permit. Generally speaking, after three years of licensure you are considered an experienced driver. 

StateChoice is located at 40 South St., West Hartford, CT 06110. We’d love for you to come in and speak with us about all of your insurance needs. In addition to auto insurance, we specialize in home insurance, commercial insurance, workers compensation insurance, life insurance, and recreational insurance. Call us today at 860-232-1234. We are knowledgeable about the insurance laws and statutes in our beautiful state of Connecticut and we want to share the information with our clients.

3 Things You Should Know about Recreational Toy Insurance

For those who are yet unfamiliar, recreational toy insurance is a lesser known type of insurance that offers a variety of benefits. That said, the following is an overview of 3 things you should know about recreational toy insurance.

Recreational Toy Insurance Covers a Variety of Unique Vehicles

No matter what type of vehicle you may own, most require insurance. Luckily, recreational toy insurance covers the following types of vehicles:

  • Motorcycles
  • All-Terrain Vehicles
  • Motor homes
  • Campers and Trailers
  • Golf Carts
  • Classic Cars
  • Personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis)
  • Dune Buggies
  • Various boats and watercraft

Liability Coverage

Even vehicles as small as golf carts can cause a massive amount of damages under the wrong circumstanced. Luckily, by purchasing a recreational toy policy, you can make sure your vehicle is covered no matter what type of accident you may be involved in.

Comprehensive Coverage

Last but not least, comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle against damages that occur that are not accident related. For instance, your vehicle could become damaged as the result of a fire, vandalism, theft, extreme weather, and much more. However, by securing the proper recreational toy insurance policy, you will also be covered against these issues.

Overall, dor residents of West Hartford, CT, StateChoice is an excellent choice for purchasing a recreational toy insurance policy.  Simply give them a call, drop them an email, or stop by their West Hartford, CT  office today. Their team of well-trained professional will be more than happy to help you explore your coverage options and secure your policy immediately. Contact StateChoice today to start your policy and hopefully save some money in the process.

Boat Insurance Basics

There aren’t too many activities that are more enjoyable than a sunny day out on the water. But an afternoon of fun can turn into an afternoon of panic in an instant. While some states do require boaters insurance for certain types of boats, not all states do. However, that doesn’t mean you should go without it. If you have a boat slip, most marinas will require it if you are docking there.

Boat Insurance for West Hartford, CT Residents

Some types of homeowners policies may extend coverage for certain types of boats, but it will depend on the size of the boat and horsepower.  However, it’s important to keep in mind if you are on the water, especially with other passengers, you have the proper watercraft coverage in place.  Boat insurance not only protects your watercraft if it is damaged, boaters personal liability coverage protects you if you were to cause a boating accident.   

StateChoice knows the average boat owner may not understand all the coverages they need to protect themselves and their vessel. That’s why our insurance experts are happy to walk you through the pertinent coverages you need before enjoying an afternoon on the water with family and friends.

The coverages you should consider adding to your watercraft policy include:

  • Liability

  • Agreed Value Coverage

  • Medical Payments

  • Physical Damage Coverage

  • Fuel Spill Liability and Wreckage Removal

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Watercraft Bodily Injury

  • Unattached Equipment Coverage

  • Personal Effects

  • Emergency Assistance

Final Thoughts

If you aren’t sure you have the proper boat coverage, let our knowledgeable insurance professionals at StateChoice insurance explain the coverages you need and the best way to protect your investment. Don’t let an accident ruin your West Hartford, CT fun. Call us or stop by today.

 

How to Save for Retirement & Receive Credit on Your Taxes

Dear Taxpayers:

It is possible to save for retirement and receive tax credits for it! It is well worth looking into these savings options to receive tax breaks while saving for the future. These retirement savings accounts are called Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA. Contributing to IRA accounts allows you to grow your money tax-free!

To qualify for benefits in both IRA and Roth IRA, you must have work earnings that are higher than the amounts contributed. Someone who is not currently working or has earned less than the contributed amount will not qualify for the credit.

The maximum amounts that can be contributed for a tax credit on both IRA accounts are $5,500 if you are under age 50, and $6,000 if you are over 50 years old. That is the amount that you can contribute from your yearly income, and that qualifies for credits on an IRA and a Roth IRA

On a traditional IRA, the amount added is not only tax-free, but it also lowers your Tax Liability for the year. In a traditional IRA, money remains tax-free as long as it is not withdrawn before retirement age. If you do remove the money before retirement age, you will be liable for taxes. This is because the money went into the account untaxed; penalties will depend on the reasons for removing the money.

Contributing to a Roth IRA allows you to grow your money tax-free! It is different from a 401k because it is more flexible in case you need to withdraw any money before retirement age. This is because funds contributed into a Roth IRA account will have already been taxed, it is the earnings from them that will be tax-free. The earnings from it must remain in the account until retirement age, or they will be subject to tax and penalties.  For more details, see Publication 591-A (2018) https://www.irs.gov/publications/p590a.

Both IRAS can be opened up to April 15th of 2019, for a tax break in 2018 taxes. For more information on calculating your tax benefit contact your tax preparer, investor, or check out the details under https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/roth-iras.

Attentively,

The StateChoice Team

Family Motorcycle Insurance Policies on Upward Trend

If you felt there was an increase in the number of motorcycles traveling on the road today, you were correct in your assumption. There’s no better feeling than riding on a bike on the open road. And a bigger upward trend is families getting a motorcycle insurance package together. 

The rise in popularity has been gained due to the median age of motorcycle riders rising from the late 20s to the early 40s. This has help peak the interest of a rider’s siblings, life partner and children to get involved with their passion. The positive of this increase is everyone receiving proper training on how to safely ride a motorcycle. 

The Ease of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle

Too often, newcomers to the motorcycle community fail to realize that maneuvering a manual transmission bike is far more complicated to master than learning on an automobile. Plus, they’re unprepared to handle the speed of the far more popular models, which can accelerate to up to 100 MPH in a blink of an eye. 

Motorcycle insurance agencies like StateChoice in West Hartford, CT believe the learning curve for new riders is greatly enhanced if a family member is an active rider. They can convey how the bike becomes more stable at higher speeds because of the longer wheelbase and larger tires. Motorcycles are very fuel efficient as they average close to 44 mpg, and the newer models can reach up to 85 mpg. Plus, an experienced rider can suggest the proper protective gear to wear as all of this information provides better safety on the road.

How Motorcycle Insurance Policies are Created

The usage of a motorcycle does come into play when choosing an insurance policy. Family group plans work best for the casual weekend rider. The annual mileage number will impact heavily a group’s rate. The more you ride, the higher the premium will become. And if someone in the family plan is using their motorcycle for business purposes, then they become ineligible for the insurance policy. The person in question might be required to purchase a personal business policy. If not, then the entire can enjoy a discount on the family policy rate.

How Your Relationship Status Can Affect Your Insurance

Who you live with and your relationship to them can have an impct on your premium. As your relationship and living status changes, make sure to update your policy. Without your policy properly updated, you could have too much or too little coverage on your vehicles.

Single with Roommates

Whether your home is owned or rented, you should have a policy that covers your home and your possessions. Anyone can cause damage to your home whether it be your guests, your roommates, or yourself.

If you are renting, you should be purchasing renters insurance. Each person whose name is on the lease needs their own policy. If one name is not on the lease and they do not have a policy, then their possessions are likely covered under the policyholder’s insurance.

If you’re living with roommates, your insurance company may even want to add your roommates to your auto insurance. This can serve as a preventative measure in case they have access to the vehicle an could potentially get into an accident with it. It would be much worse to have your roommate damage your car and then find out it will not be covered.

Cohabiting

Most states (including Connecticut) require insurance companies to recognize domestic partners under the same auto policy. Depending on the company, if you and your significant other are not domestic partners, you may need to purchase separate policies as roommates would do.

Sharing a home does not necessarily mean that you are sharing a car, but if your partner uses your vehicle at all, they should be listed on your auto insurance policy.

Some couples may elect to insure themselves separately due to driving records or easy payments. However, you might be eligible for a discount if you combine your insurance policies into one.

Married

Once you get married, your spouse will be covered under your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance. However, you still need to inform your insurance agent of your status change (maybe even invite them to the wedding!).

Make sure to review your coverages to make sure you are covered for all of your new additional possessions. For example, you may want to schedule your engagement ring and wedding bands as they are often worth more than what your insurance will cover.

If you are married but separated– with your spouse living elsewhere–they are no longer considered an insured on the policy.

Your auto insurance should also be combined. If your spouse gets into an accident while driving your car, you want to make sure you’re covered. Not to mention, you’ll likely receive a discount by combining your policies.

Divorced

If you and your spouse are divorcing, and one of you is keeping the home, you will need to reissue the deed in the sole owner’s name.

The homeowners policy is tied with the deed and insures whoevers name is listed there. If both names are on the deed, deleting your spouse from the policy is not enough.

You’ll also need to get a new title issued for your car if both spouses are listed as owners. Keep in mind that when an accident occurs, the other driver goes after the car owner, not the driver.

Umbrella Insurance

Your umbrella policy increases liability coverage for both your home and auto insurance. As with all of your other policies, your umbrella policy should be reviewed anytime you make big life changes.

Whether it is combining households or divorcing, your coverages need to be adjusted to fit your new life.

Need to reassess your policies? StateChoice can review your coverages and make recommendations, even if you are not currently insured with us. Give us a call 860-232-1234.


For more info see article in The Hartford where this information was found.

Do You Need a Death Certificate to File a Life Insurance Claim?

After a loved one has passed away, there are many different things you need to do. One of the things you need to do is to let their life insurance company know they have passed away and file a claim for an insurance payout. Here at StateChoice, serving the greater West Hartford, CT area, we know many people have never done this before. As such, you may have questions. One question you may have is whether you need a death certificate to file a life insurance claim. Here is the answer to that question. 

Do You Need a Death Certificate to File a Life Insurance Claim? 

You do not need a death certificate in order to file a life insurance claim. You can let the insurance company know your loved one has passed away and begin the process of filing the claim without a death certificate. However, it is important to understand that an insurance company cannot pay out on a life insurance claim until they have the certified death certificate. The certified death certificate proves the individual is deceased and shows how and why the individual passed away. The clock for paying out the claim does not start until the death certificate has been submitted to the life insurance company. 

Life insurance helps to ensure that your final expenses do not become a financial burden for your loved ones. If you do not have life insurance, it may be something you want to consider purchasing. Here at StateChoice, serving the greater West Hartford, CT area, we can help explain various types of life insurance plans to you and help you select the one that best suits your needs. Call us today to learn more.