When Does my Business Require a Commercial Insurance Policy?

Commercial insurance is an important protection for a business and its assets. This is especially true for small businesses, who may be susceptible to losing their entire business over authentic- and frivolous lawsuits or claims. In Indiana, commercial insurance is not required by law, but having insurance is encouraged to be proactive in protecting your business.

Indiana is a modified comparative negligence fault state. What does this mean? It means that even if the blame for an accident is fully shared, your business can still be sued- and deemed liable- for damages for up to 2 years after an accident. Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency serving Mishawaka, IN understands the importance of commercial insurance policies and how to educate- and protect- its consumers. Agents are here to help.

Having an affective commercial insurance policy in place is the only way to assure that your business is not at risk for claims that could damage your business professionally, as well as financially. Living in a digital media era, it is easy and fast for a customer to complain via social media and start a potential lawsuit just through word of mouth. Are you prepared to combat this?

A good commercial insurance policy will usually include: workers compensation insurance, lawsuits, attorney fees, business and commercial automobiles, disability for employees, theft, fire and various other natural disasters, business losses and claims. Having a knowledgeable and experienced agent on your side to guide you through securing the right policy for your company will be the edge you need to be competitive and smart in picking your policy. If you are in the Mishawaka, IN area and think you may be in need of a commercial insurance policy for your business, contact the Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency today. 

Common Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Make That Can Damage Their Home

If you’re a first-time homeowner in Mishawaka, IN, you might be making some common homeowner mistakes that you don’t realize can damage your home.  These are the most common no-nos that come from good intentions.

  1. If bleach is a go-to for many issues in the home, you might want to use caution.  Bleach can eat the sealant on surfaces like granite, discolor laminate and colored grout, fad enamel and acrylic bathtubs, dissolve vinyl, and corrode seals inside the garbage disposal.  A better answer is vinegar and water.
  2. Do you have ivy climbing on the outside of your home?  It may look nice, but it can cause damage because it sends roots into any cracks or crevices that create openings for moisture and insects to enter.
  3. Chemical drain cleaners may seem like the best way to go for a clogged sink, but they are made with hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid that can erode pipes.  An old-fashioned plunger, drain snake, or a Zip-it gadget is safe and more effective.
  4. Being a dutiful homeowner, you’re likely to fix any caulking you see coming apart or to seal up cracks. Make sure to use the right type of caulking because the wrong type can lead to damage by allowing moisture in because it didn’t adhere properly.
  5. If you have countertops that need occasional resealing, such as natural stone, concrete, wood, or glass, be sure to take care of it, but not to the point of suffocation. Over-sealing countertops can create streaked or cloudy surfaces.

Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency

The Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency has over 46 years of experienced insurance agents working to provide home insurance to those in the Mishawaka, IN area.  Contact us today to explore your homeowner’s insurance needs. 

Things to Avoid When Buying Any Auto Insurance

Mastering the combination of affordability and an insurance that will guarantee comprehensive coverage for your automobile takes time. Secondly, you also need vast knowledge that can only be gained though research and experience. Situated in Mishawaka, IN, Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency will help you bridge that costly knowledge gap. To know these rookie mistakes to avoid and get a good policy, read on.

The Common Mistakes
Know what risks you want to be insured. By the time you set foot at Mishawaka, IN, Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency, you should know what suits your needs. The insurance you seek should cover the risks you want catered for. Some auto policies service loss of a car because of natural calamities while others cater for theft or vandalism. Know the policy’s scope.

Secondly, making judgements guided by assumptions and falsehood on the extent to which your auto insurance will service an injury or loss can be detrimental. There are policies that will comprehensively cater for your injuries, passengers and third party while others do not. Be inquisitive and do not simply fall for the misleading grammar in their brochures.

Laxity and failure to do prior research. Doing research on the available offers across agencies is essential to having the most fulfilling deal. For, starters, the obsession with cheap monthly deductibles instead of the standard bi-annual ones impair many from getting the right protection. There are agencies that are affordable based on their rates. However, this can be costly in case of an emergency because most of these policies fail to fully indemnify you in case of a loss.

Lying on your application, to once again get cheap deductibles, and failing to maximize your discount potential are common errors. In your application, be honest lest you risk losing your policy if you insurer finds out you lied. Secondly, you can ask your agency on the discounting offered to get the best out of your auto policy.

 

5 Ways to Childproof Your Yard for Summer

Childproofing your yard will make it a safer environment for summertime fun. Whether you’re planning fun activities for the family or getting together with neighbors and friends, the following steps can help get your yard ready for kiddie play.

Flora and Fauna

If your yard is sparse on grass, consider planting some to soften the blow of trips and falls during outdoor play. Make sure all plants in your garden are safe for kids to touch. Young kids, in particular, could get sick by touching or ingesting poisonous plants.

Upgrade Outdoor Furniture

Old patio furniture with sharp edges makes your kids more susceptible to accidents. By upgrading to child-friendly patio furniture with extra padding, you can create a safer patio environment.

Safeguard Pool

Protect your kids from accidental drowning by enclosing your in-ground pool with a security fence that comes with a lockable gate. Portable kiddie pools should be set up on level ground and emptied after every use. Even several inches of water can pose a threat of drowning to toddlers.

Lock Up Garden and Grill Tools

Designate a safe location in your South Bend, Elkhart, or Mishawaka, IN home for storage of garden tools and grill equipment when not in use to keep them well out of reach of children.

Invest in Safe Play Equipment

If you’re buying playground equipment, invest in safe, name-brand structures that are appropriate for your child’s age. Set up play equipment in a safe location away from trees and bushes and check it periodically for signs of wear and tear that could cause accidents.

Before hosting summer BBQs and parties, review your homeowner’s insurance policy from Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency in Mishawaka, IN to make sure you’re covered for any eventuality. For more information on coverage options, contact an agent from Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency today.

5 Ways to Childproof Your Yard for Summer

Childproofing your yard will make it a safer environment for summertime fun. Whether you’re planning fun activities for the family or getting together with neighbors and friends, the following steps can help get your yard ready for kiddie play.

Flora and Fauna

If your yard is sparse on grass, consider planting some to soften the blow of trips and falls during outdoor play. Make sure all plants in your garden are safe for kids to touch. Young kids, in particular, could get sick by touching or ingesting poisonous plants.

Upgrade Outdoor Furniture

Old patio furniture with sharp edges makes your kids more susceptible to accidents. By upgrading to child-friendly patio furniture with extra padding, you can create a safer patio environment.

Safeguard Pool

Protect your kids from accidental drowning by enclosing your in-ground pool with a security fence that comes with a lockable gate. Portable kiddie pools should be set up on level ground and emptied after every use. Even several inches of water can pose a threat of drowning to toddlers.

Lock Up Garden and Grill Tools

Designate a safe location in your South Bend, Elkhart, or Mishawaka, IN home for storage of garden tools and grill equipment when not in use to keep them well out of reach of children.

Invest in Safe Play Equipment

If you’re buying playground equipment, invest in safe, name-brand structures that are appropriate for your child’s age. Set up play equipment in a safe location away from trees and bushes and check it periodically for signs of wear and tear that could cause accidents.

Before hosting summer BBQs and parties, review your homeowner’s insurance policy from Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency in Mishawaka, IN to make sure you’re covered for any eventuality. For more information on coverage options, contact an agent from Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency today.

Information You Need to Have on Hand When Getting a Commercial Insurance Quote

If you own a business, it is highly recommended that you obtain commercial insurance. This helps to protect your business against a variety of losses including theft, employee loss and loss from fire or flood. If you have never carried this type of insurance before, you may be unsure what information you need to have on hand when getting a commercial insurance quote. Here are a few things you will want to know or have readily available when you call to get a quote.

The Number of Employees You Have

When you call in to get a quote for commercial insurance, you will want to have a rough estimate of the number of employees who work for you. Commercial insurance generally covers your employees against injuries at work, so the more employees you have, the more your insurance quote will be. Having the exact number of employees you employ on hand when you call for a quote helps to ensure the quote is as accurate as possible.

The Total Value of Product or Merchandise in Your Store

Another number you will want to have on hand when you call for a commercial insurance quote is the value of the product or merchandise you keep in your store or warehouse at any given time. This helps to ensure you get a quote that fully covers the valuables stored in your space.

The Number of Claims That You Have Filed in the Past

Lastly, if you have had commercial insurance in the past, you will want to know how many claims you have filed against this policy in the past five years. The more claims you have made, the higher your policy will be. However, an insurance company will verify this information, so providing accurate information ensures your quote is as accurate as possible.

If you are looking to obtain a commercial insurance quote, let Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency, serving the greater Mishawaka, IN area, a call. We would love to assist you with all of your insurance needs. Call us now for a free quote or to work with one of our agents to put together the policy that best meets your needs.

The Danger of DUIs: How Alcohol Related Driving Offenses Can Severely Impact Your Car Insurance

Being convicted of a DUI or other alcohol related offense can not only bring criminals issues, but it can also cause significant problems with your car insurance. At Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency in Mishawaka, IN, they know how these offenses can cause higher rates and even problems with obtaining coverage. If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense:

Your Insurance Company Will Consider You a High-Risk Driver

If you are found guilty in a drunk driving related accident, your are regarded as a high-risk driver for five to ten years. If you have your license suspended due to your conviction, you will be required to produce an SR-22 form proving that you have been insured as a high-risk driver to obtain reinstatement. Once labeled a risk, your insurance may be impacted in multiple ways including:

  • Higher Premiums –  Your premiums are primarily determined by your driving risk which is assessed by your previous driving record.  A drunk driving charge will result in a significant increase in premiums as the company will feel you are more likely to be involved in an at-fault accident.
  • Fewer Choices – High-risk drivers may find they have fewer options when it comes to choosing an insurance company. Depending on the rest of your driving record, companies may refuse to insure you.

Your Insurance Could Drop You

While paying higher premiums can make owning a car cost prohibitive it is better than the alternative. If you are convicted of drunk driving, your insurance company may choose to no longer insure you. The state of Indiana requires minimum liability coverages to allow you to retain a license in the state, so being dropped from your insurance company can result in being unable to drive legally in the state. Once you have been dropped by insurance, it may make finding a new one difficult as well.

If you have been charged with an alcohol-related offense or want more information on what it means to be a high-risk driver, contact the knowledgeable agents at Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency in Mishawaka, IN today.

Mishakawa, IN insurance options

Mishawaka, IN is located just outside of South Bend, which is best known for Notre Dame University. This suburb of the infamous college town is known as a quiet place for people to live and work but those who are residents here should look into having a number of insurance policies to protect them against the unexpected. Below are some options for why you need insurance in a place like Mishawaka, IN, preferably through a provider like the Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency, who serves the greater Mishawaka area.

AUTO INSURANCE TO PROTECT YOU ON THE ROAD

Auto insurance is one of the most important forms of insurance that you can opt for in Mishawaka, IN. Everyone who owns a car knows the true freedom of traveling around the Indiana area. The base insurance policies will protect you against having to pay for damages that an accident you are at fault for causes to someone else’s car or in the case of personal injury. However, your insurance agent can advise other larger forms of coverage that will protect you against having to pay for property, your own vehicle’s damage, and any lawsuits that may arise out of the collision. If you have a car, you’ll need this type of insurance.

HOME INSURANCE TO PROTECT WHERE YOU LIVE

If you have a house in Mishawaka, you will need insurance to protect where you live as well. This will cover everything from the serious storms that blow off Lake Michigan, to a fire that burns the house down, or even the exploding pipes in the dead of winter that flood the basement. Without this type of insurance, your perfect home in this sleepy suburb could become a perfect financial nightmare and quite literally leave you homeless. Talk to an insurance agent with Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency today to make sure you are properly covered.

What to Know About Auto Insurance Limits in Mishawaka

State limits exist in practically every state for auto insurance. What this means for you is that there is a cap on how much insurance will pay for damages. Regardless of the type of insurance, you have though, it’s your responsibility by law to pay for the damages from an accident. When it comes to Indiana, Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency wants you to have the facts in hand before you decide to get the bare minimum. 

Bodily Injury and Property Damage in Mishawaka, IN

If you’ve injured people in an accident, the limits for Indiana are $25,000 for each person, with a $50,000 cap for the entire accident if multiple people were injured. If there was property damage involved, the limits are $10,000. While this may seem like a lot of money, the bills that add up after accidents can quickly end up exceeding these limits. When people are injured especially, they may have lingering problems that mean a lifetime of treatment. For example, if the person you hit develops chronic back pain, you may be paying more than you bargained for which may eventually land you in major debt.

A Better Way 

Instead of leaving your financial future to chance, talk to the expert staff at Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency. Instead of scaring you, it’s our job to put your coverage into perspective. Should you choose to leave your policy as is, you should at least understand the risks of your decisions. Too many people call their insurance agency assuming that their policy will help, and that’s the wrong time to find out about it. If you live in Mishawaka, IN, give us a call to find out more about what you can do to be a more responsible driver. 

 

What is the “Right” Amount of Insurance for Me?

Determining the correct amount of insurance to get on your home can be a difficult task. If you have more than you need, premiums can be through the roof, but if you have less, you may not be covered when disaster strikes. At Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency, we are here to help those in the Mishawaka, IN area to determine the right amount of insurance to fit your specific circumstances.

There are four things you need to be sure to have covered: your home itself (the structure), your possessions, living expenses if you are forced to go somewhere else due to home damage, and any liability to others.

An accurate way to determine the amount of coverage you need for the structure of your home is to multiply the total square footage by the local construction costs, which can be determined with the help of your agent at the Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency. Through a standard homeowners policy, damage as the result of most natural disasters and theft are covered, though impairments resulting from floods and earthquakes is not. An inflation guard may be added to your policy to reflect the current costs of construction in Mishawaka, IN. Older homes may be difficult to insure due to the expense of replacement materials, and therefore you may have a policy that replaces housing components with modern (less expensive) building materials.

To determine the best amount of insurance you need for personal possessions, a home inventory is in order. Make a detailed list of all your belongings that need to be replaced if damaged by fire, theft, etc. You can decide if you are more comfortable with an actual cash value policy, which will cover the cost of possessions minus depreciation, or replacement cost policy, which repays for items in full, regardless of depreciation.

Lastly, your liability portion covers against lawsuits by others due to injury at your abode, or significant damage caused by pets. Your representative at Kevin Dennis Insurance Agency will help you determine an appropriate amount for you.